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'Tomb Raider' Takes Players On Lara Croft's First Adventure

by Jason Cipriano   March 04, 2013 at 12:00AM  |  Views: 2,778

A lot has happened to Lara Croft since the first Tomb Raider was released back in 1996. She has traveled the world, discovered countless treasures, and made bank at the box office. Even after all that time, things haven't really changed too much for Lara - she's still, pretty much, the same busty archeologist she always has been. Donning the same short shorts every game (or movie) as she embarks on a new, yet eerily similar, adventure in a different part of the world to raid some tombs. All of that changes with the latest Tomb Raider game. As an official reboot to the series, this release takes you on Lara's first adventure as she heads to the Pacific islands in a search for answers to what happened to the ancient Queen Himiko.

Developer: Crystal Dynamics
Publisher: Square Enix
After tackling the last three Tomb Raider games; Legend, Anniversary, and Underworld, as well as the series' first spin-off release, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, Crystal Dynamics know a thing or two about Ms. Croft's adventuring. Their experience makes them the perfect studio to reimagine the series from the ground up. On the publishing side, this is Square Enix's first true foray into the series since acquiring the Eidos.

Forget what you know about the Tomb Raider series - this is Lara's first adventure, and she's out to make a name for herself. She and her crew have traveled Japan in search of Yamatai, an island that housed the ancient worshipers of the mystical Queen Himiko. Just as their funding is about to run out, they make one last ditch effort to explore the Dragon's Triangle, Japan's version of the Bermuda Triangle, where their ship is caught in a storm and destroyed, leaving the crew scattered across the shadowy island. Lara eventually wakes up to find that this tropical island is inhabited by hostiles, who attack her and her crew. She must do whatever it takes to stay alive while unlocking the secrets of this mysterious island.

Tomb Raider fans with an Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, or Microsoft Windows will be able to tackle Lara's latest adventure.

This Tomb Raider game isn't what you expect it to be. While it does retain some of the common themes from the previous games in the series, this one goes off on its own, putting Lara in constant peril on this distant island. There's still some serious gameplay with a bunch of set piece battles, some of which blend in the historical Japanese influences of the island in a way that fans of the series will truly appreciate. Even Lara, herself, is drastically different - she has an all-new look, all-new weapons, and even an all-new skill progression system that allows her to level up certain abilities to make her more adept at surviving this island. Another thing that sets this release apart from its predecessors is its level of detail - graphic is really the only way to describe it. Few games ever show their protagonist being impaled, crushed or shot through the throat with an arrow, but Tomb Raider does. These gruesome deaths make the game feel more realistic, and truly drive home the intensity of Lara's struggle. When you add in some solid new multiplayer experiences, this rebirth of the classic Tomb Raider franchise is definitely a step in the right direction for Lara, and it even rivals the best games in the series, proving this reboot is well worth it.